Headache Awareness Week - Seven Healthy Habits of Headache and Migraine Sufferers

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    Hello and welcome to MigraineCast the weekly podcast brought to you by MyMigraineConnection.com and the HealthCentral Network.

    Sunday, June 3, marks the beginning of National Headache Awareness Week. Some people have asked me why there's an awareness week for headaches and Migraine disease. People who need to ask that question are generally people who never experience anything beyond a minor tension-type headache. Those with chronic headaches or issues with Migraine disease know the answer. Although the World Health Organization ranks Migraine disease as the 19th leading cause of years lived with disability on a global level, Migraine is still dramatically underdiagnosed, undertreated, and misunderstood. That ranking is from 2004. In 2000, Migraine was ranked at 20th. While we would hope that Migraine would move down on the list, it is, unfortunately, moving up. Tension-type headaches are experienced by 80% of the world's population. Extrapolation from figures for migraine prevalence and frequency of attacks suggests that 3,000 Migraine attacks occur every day for each million of the general population. Less well recognized is the toll of chronic daily headache: up to one adult in 20 has headache every or nearly every day.*
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    Initiated by the National Headache Foundation, this year's awareness week is focusing attention on Seven Healthy Habits of Headache Sufferers. National Headache Awareness Week is an effort to provide practical advice to headache and Migraine sufferers to help reduce headache and Migraine risk and live life more fully when affected by headaches and Migraine disease.

    The Seven Healthy Habits of Headache Sufferers include the following tips that can be easily incorporated into sufferers’ lives:
    1. Diet: Eat regular meals, avoiding foods and drinks that are known to trigger attacks.
    2. Sleep: Maintain a regular sleeping schedule, including weekends, holidays, and vacations.
    3. Stress: Implement stress reduction techniques into your daily life.
    4. Headache and Migraine diary: Keep a headache and Migraine diary of when your attacks occur, along with any triggers, the medications used, and other information, and share the information with your healthcare provider.
    5. See your healthcare provider: Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to specifically discuss your headaches and / or Migraines.
    6. Be a partner in your health care: Be informed, be a participant in your treatment and be an advocate for your care.
    7. Education: Stay apprised of the latest headache and Migraine news and treatment.
    Headache and Migraine expert and founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic, Dr. Seymour Diamond, commented on awareness week, saying,

    The tips offered by the National Headache Foundation can provide important stepping stones to reduce headache frequency and severity… It is also critical for frequent headache sufferers to talk with their healthcare provider about how to best manage their headaches.

  • Dr. Diamond was on target as always in calling these tips "stepping stones." Whether headaches and Migraines are a problem for you or if they're a problem for someone you know, I do hope you'll take some time this week to look at these tips, learn more about headaches and Migraine disease, and improve your life or the life of the people you know who are affected by headaches and Migraine disease. You can find more information on awareness week, Migraines, and headaches on MyMigraineConnection.com and on the National Headache Foundation's Web site at www.headaches.org.
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    Coping with severe headaches and Migraine disease for over 40 years has brought me to the realization that learning about Migraine disease and headaches can allow us to work with our doctors as treatment partners to gain control over headaches and Migraines rather than them controlling us. Please join us at MyMigraineConnection.com for information and support or for a transcript of this podcast. From MyMigraineConnection.com and the HealthCentral Network, this is Teri Robert reminding you that you can indeed live well, even with Migraine disease and headaches.

    * Fact sheet No 277: Headache disorders. World Health Organization. March, 2004.

Published On: June 03, 2007